What are the eligibility criteria for becoming a permanent resident under Start-Up Visa Program?

The (SUVP) Start-Up Visa Program is for the purpose of allowing entrepreneurs (and identified essential people within their businesses) to start and grow their companies in Canada.

At the same time by setting up their businesses under the SUVP, business owners have the opportunity to become Permanent Residents (PR) as long as the IRCC is satisfied with their business and believes that it can potentially:

  • Create jobs in Canada

  • Be innovative within a sector or industry

  • Can compete on a global scale

Moreover, if an applicant is successful under the program then even if their business venture fails after immigrating to Canada they will still retain their PR status.


In order for an applicant to be eligible for the SUVP program they are required to own a qualifying business meaning that at any time you as the owner must own a minimum of 10% of the voting rights of the business. Moreover, all owners (up to five may apply together) of the businesses and the designated Canadian investment organization must own at least 50% of the total voting rights (at all times) when combined.

If these requirements are fulfilled then Individuals who have such ownership must do the following:

  • Prove their business has sponsorship and support from a designated organization in Canada;

  • Ensure they meet the minimum language requirement for either English or French;

  • Have sufficient funds to settle and live in Canada; and

  • Pass immigration security and medical clearance checks.

  • Proving support from a designated organization

You are also required to have proof of support from the designated Canadian organization as a prerequisite this includes proof of funding. Additionally, you must also submit a letter of support which will be given to you by the designated Canadian organization in your application for PR and the organization also needs to send a commitment certificate directly to IRCC as further proof of their support and expectations from the venture.

Furthermore, it is also possible for you to receive support and sponsorship from multiple organizations at once. If there is such a case then all the designated Canadian organizations are required to be identified, as well as collectively submit a single letter of support and commitment certificate.

Proof of funding

If you are under the SUVP then you are not required to invest any of your own money—however, you are still required to provide proof of funding and investment.

Depending on whether your business is supported by a venture capital firm, or an angel investor group it will be necessary for you to display a certain level of funding however in the case that you obtained sponsorship from a business incubator, then you are not required to provide proof of funding.

  • If sponsorship has been obtained from a designated venture capital group, CAD 200,000 in confirmed funding must be shown.

  • If sponsorship has been obtained from a designated angel investor group, CAD 75,000 in confirmed funding must be shown.

  • In cases of multiple sponsorships, the higher criteria for proof of funding will apply.

Moreover in order to insure that all the checks and protocols have been followed in accordance with the SUVP, the governing third body of your designated institute will be conducting a peer review.

Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada

The applicants of this program should be aware that they will not receive any financial support from the government of Canada once they immigrate, therefore you should make all the necessary preparations beforehand and gather enough funds to support themselves and their families after immigration.

Language requirements

Another Eligibility requirement for the SUVP is that applicants must have a (CLB) of 5 or above in either English or French language. The CLB operates as a Canadian system for assessing the applicant’s proficiency in listening, reading, writing, and speaking in the two languages. The candidate’s proficiency in the English language can be tested using IELTS or CELPIP, while proficiency in French can be tested through TEF or TCF.

Security and Medical clearance

For a person to be allowed to enter Canada they must first pass the country’s standard security and medical clearance checks. For this purpose, applicants must have certain documents for security clearance they need they need police clearance certificates/checks, and for medical approval, they may be required to provide an (IME) Immigration Medical Exams.

further applicants under the SUVP also have the option to obtain a temporary work permit so that they can start working whenever they arrive in Canada.

Determine if you are eligible for the Start-Up Visa Program.

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